FORM London is a contemporary jewellery brand started by Central Saint Martins graduate Judith De Berker. The brand creates modern jewellery that is handmade in the UK using a blend of age-old and modern techniques.
What course did you study at UAL?
I studied Jewellery Design BA at Central St Martins.
What’s your fondest memory from your time at UAL?
We were based in the old building in Southampton Row; I loved that building – it was so quirky. Learning the mysterious art of jewellery making using age-old techniques felt as close as you could get to Hogwarts! I loved working side by side my friends at the bench; all of us working on our designs but helping each other out and chatting away.
How did your company come about?
Through a very long and winding road! After my course, I went on to become an art technician while training to become a teacher. I was fortunate to work with a super talented teacher who taught me loads of techniques I hadn’t had a chance to explore before. It’s here where I first learnt to use a laser cutter.
I loved teaching but missed creating for myself, so when the opportunity to open a shop with some friends came about, I decided to go for it.
We sold gifts and artwork from designer-makers, so it was a no brainer for me to make jewellery for us to sell too, drawing from my degree and multidisciplinary experience teaching. It was a great way to see what sells, test out ideas.
After a lifetime in London me and my other half decided to make the move to Cardiff, so I had to leave the shop and venture out on my own.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m materials driven so I love trying out new tools and ways of making. My dad is a keen woodworker and passed on his passions for making and different types of timber to me.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
I take inspiration from everywhere; the art world, architecture, furniture design, all over. The collection I’m working on at the moment draws influence from the artist Ben Nicholson, I love his relief work, and I’m enjoying working out how I can use the laser cutter to create layers of interest.
Where is your most inspiring place in London?
There are so many places, but I guess it would have to be Brixton as this is where I started my first business and where Form London was born.
What advice would you give current students hoping to start their own business?
Start small, take your time, focus and don’t give up. It takes ages to refine your style, let alone learn how to run a business and get yourself into the successful habits so don’t beat yourself up that you don’t know everything right off the cuff. I’m a firm believer slow and steady wins the race, keep chipping away at it, building on successes and learning from mistakes you’ll be a robust and confident designer maker.
What’s next for your brand?
With the move to Wales, it’s time for a re-brand, Form London doesn’t feel an authentic fit anymore – another nugget of advice there – don’t give yourself a location specific name – doh!